How to Upload Word Documents to Google Docs

Read and edit Word files for free

What to Know

  • First, open Google Drive and select New > File upload. Navigate to your Word file and click Open.
  • Next, convert the file. Select the Word document and then select Edit in Google Docs. Select File > Save as Google Docs.
  • To download a file from Google Docs, go to File > Download and select a file format. Choose a location and select Save.

This article explains how to upload a Microsoft Word file to Google Docs, so you can view, edit, and share it freely. Instructions apply to Google Docs on the desktop and any version of Microsoft Word that uses the .docx format.

How to Send Word Documents to Google Drive

Google Docs is a part of Google Drive, so you must first upload your documents to Google Drive before you can use them on Google Docs.

  1. Open Google Drive. If you need to log in, you'll be prompted to do that before proceeding.

  2. Select New.

    New button in Google Docs web page
  3. Select File upload. To upload a folder that contains several Word documents, select Folder upload instead.

    File and Folder upload menu items on the Google Drive web page
  4. Navigate to the file or folder you want to upload, then select Open. The upload process begins automatically.

How to Convert a Word Document in Google Docs

Now that the document is uploaded to Google Drive, you can keep it there for backup purposes or for sharing with others. However, to edit the Word document online with Google Docs, convert it to a format Google Docs can recognize.

  1. Open Google Docs.

  2. Click a Word document you want to edit.

    A single Word document selected in Google Docs
  3. Select Edit in Google Docs.

    Opening a Word document with Google Docs
  4. The .DOCX label next to the document's name lets you know it's in Microsoft Word format.

    A Word document opened in Google Drive with the DOCX extension highlighted
  5. To convert the file, select File > Save as Google Docs. A new version of the document opens in a separate window. You now have two versions of the file, the DOCX file, and the new Google Docs file.

    A document with the Save to Google Docs command highlighted

How to Download an Edited Google Docs File

When you need to download a file from Google Docs, you can do it from the document's editing page.

  1. Open Google Docs, then open the file you want to download. To tell which documents are Google Docs files and which are still Microsoft Word documents, look at the file extensions. Google Docs files do not have a file extension, so if there's a DOCX or DOC suffix after the file name, then that file has not been converted to the Google Docs format (which means that it's not the file you edited on Google Docs).

  2. Go to File > Download and select a file format from the menu that appears. Choose from formats such as DOCX, ODT, RTF, PDF, EPUB, and others.

    Download as Microsoft Word (.docx) menu item in Google document File menu
  3. Choose a folder where the document should be saved. It may also directly download to your computer if you've defined a download folder for your browser.

  4. Select Save.

Another quick way to download the Word document from Google Docs onto your computer is through Google Drive. Right-click the file and select Download. However, if you go this route, you don't have a choice of file format. It will automatically download as a DOCX file.

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